As a travel agent, my goal is always to insure a pleasurable and safe travel experience for my clients. I think about travel safety constantly and accommodations are no exception to that rule. At Affinity Travel Group, our travel agents have access to an extensive data base of great places to stay around the world including quaint bed and breakfast accommodations, hotels, all-inclusive resorts, luxury properties and even private homes where safety is always taken into consideration.
As often as I can I conduct site visits and stay at properties because it provides me with first hand knowledge of the accommodations. I participate in webinars and exchange information with other travel professionals. And like many I also check online reviews. All of this gives me a level of comfort when it comes to safety when referring my clients for both domestic and international accommodations.
Where safety is concerned, I always think about all sides of the accommodations equation and hosted properties or home stays have always raised a red flag for me. While traveling with a friend, I booked a home stay apartment during a visit to Budapest. Something I would never do when traveling alone. I was a little nervous about the whole experience. Why? Because I know for a fact that there are no real safeguards, safety precautions or quality standards when it comes to these types of accommodations.
During that experience there were a lot of what ifs that were going through my head. You are always vulnerable when you travel, even more vulnerable is this setting. All you can do is roll the dice and hope that all goes well.
Asher Fergusson is a travel blogger who rolled the dice. When he told me about his own personal experience with Air bnb and what happened to him, it basically validated some of my inner concerns. Are the photos and reviews real? Has the location been verified? Do airbnb hosts have to go through a criminal background check? During my stay, what if a host enters the home without my permission? Asher shared with me that he wanted to know how common his experience was. As a result he did some pretty extensive research and the results are pretty shocking. From fake listings to fake reviews, the airbnb/home share market can be a pretty scary place.
Before booking your next home share, read Is Airbnb safe?
Always better to err on the side of caution and make an informed decision.